Created 17-Jul-12
Modified 17-Jul-12
135 photos
Picnic at The Shire was an exclusive dinner held July 15, 2012 at The Shire, a 75 acre property in the Columbia Gorge designed by John Yeon. The event was hosted by Randy Gragg and Robert Melnick. These images were taken by Sabina Samiee, Communications Coordinator for the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in Portland at the University of Oregon.

For over a decade Randy Gragg wrote on architecture for the Oregonian before becoming editor in chief of Portland Monthly. Gragg long championed Yeon's place in Northwest history not only as an architect, but also as an historic preservationist a conservationist and one of the primary players in the protection of the Columbia Gorge. Gragg comments that the "Picnic at The Shire offered both a great meal and a living history lesson."

Professor Melnick is the first director of the Yeon centers. He was dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts from 1994-2005 and was responsible for securing the donation of the Yeon properties and its endowment for the school. Melnick is a nationally respected expert on cultural landscapes and preservation issues. He has been on the UO faculty since 1982.

John Yeon often held picnics at The Shire in which he served baked chickens and vegetables harvested from The Shire's kitchen garden. Inspired and persuaded by Yeon to take up the fight for the Gorge, Nancy Russel had held a picnic of Portland Garden Club members that kicked off the effort that led to the creation of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, the pivotal player in passing the scenic area legislation. Gragg and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge have recruited several of the women who attended that first picnic. Coupled with the legendary cooking of Larry Grimes and his crew from Art of Catering, Picnic at The Shire will be a quintessential 2012 update of the events Yeon and the Friends frequently hosted.

The event, sponsored and organized in large part by Randy Gragg and Portland Monthly was held July 15, 2012. All proceeds from The Picnic will go to the Yeon Centers.

Read more about The Shire and the John Yeon Center at the University of Oregon here

About Robert Melnick, here, and here,

About Randy Gragg, here,
and one his many writings on John Yeon for the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, here,